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Behavioral Science Research Seminar


This is a workshop style seminar for doctoral students interested in writing research articles targeted towards journals and conferences (e.g. JMR, JCR, or ACR) in the Behavioral Sciences (BS, e.g. Consumer Behavior). The seminar lasts over the whole semester and includes a kick off session followed by writing exercises paired with group discussions. The objective of the course is to first, get a better understanding of what kind of articles BS journals are looking for (with an emphasis on the CB field), and second, how students can target them with their own doctoral research. In a workshop-like format, we will look at how research articles can be structured and written in order to appeal to a behavioral audience. As a key feature of the seminar, students will write different parts of an article based on their own research (including research questions, theory, and results). These written parts will be peer-reviewed by all other course participants and discussed in class, providing valuable feedback to their own ongoing research.

The seminar covers the following contents:
1.) Overview of BS target journals and their expectations (with an emphasis on CB journals). Overview of typical article architecture and argumentation logic. What makes a good article?
2.) Overview of individual research and writing process. Practical writing exercises with peer-reviews and in-seminar feedback related to writing e.g. the following parts of an article: Abstract, Introduction, Literature review, Conceptual framework and hypotheses, Study method and results section, General discussion.
Please note that the emphasis will be on academic writing and argumentation logic instead of on the English language and good writing in general.

Required Readings
All seminar participants will be required to read and peer-review each other's texts during the seminar.

Students need to be enrolled in the USI PhD program and need to already work on a research topic related to BS. Ideally, they have already collected experimental data or at least have already been working on a conceptual framework or research design. They will need to bring and work on their own research project during the seminar. The seminar is thus better suited for doctoral students in their mid to final years of the dissertation.

Number of Participants and Grading
Seminar participation is open. The grading depends on individual's level of active participation and the quality of the written work in the seminar.



Hofstetter R.

Course director

Additional information

Academic year